Accenture Digital Talks with CXOTalk on Digital Transformation

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Earlier this year, CXOTalk, which talks to innovative business leaders worldwide, spoke with Mike Sutcliff, Group CEO of Accenture Digital, on the digital transformation of businesses and the importance of the CIO and IT, amongst other things.

Starting the discussion, Sutcliff described the importance to businesses of harnessing the benefit of new innovations. Maintaining competitiveness and enjoying benefits such as increased data gathering and customer interactivity are just a couple of the examples could that arise from employing developments in technology. In order to realise the scope of the benefits, Sutcliff explained that the key method in moving forward was for companies to adopt a mindset focussed on putting the customer’s needs first.

By putting the customers interests ahead of other concerns, potential users or clients will identify positively with a company when compared with one that has other priorities. It may seem obvious, but customers will go with a product or solution that best meets their needs.

In order to meet customer expectations, Sutcliff suggests an initial analysis on the interaction between customers and the company – the wants and needs of customers, the applicability of digital tools, markets or channels to interact with them and enable them. This in turn leads to a focus on how to better serve customers and improve their experience. Outcomes from these discussions are expected to lead to significant changes in the company, with Sutcliff giving examples of questions such as how the company should operate, its organisation, business processes and how to integrate external platforms to a company’s advantage.

Key to moving on from his stage successfully, according to Sutcliff, is a holistic approach to new ideas. Rather than tasking a small committee or group with investigating specific possibilities of a technology, the companies that succeed most are ones that discuss how new developments can be applied through the business as a whole. In a similar vein, how the company fits into the wider ecosystem is another area recommended for consideration. By looking at how their company interfaces and fits with others around it, more beneficial opportunities will be discovered.

In this, the role of the CIO and CDO will be critical. Spearheading the discussion on how to tackle merging new technology with the company will be a crucial part of the CIO’s work, coordinating with people throughout the company in order to discover how new technology can benefit the company as a whole. For the CDO, the focus could be on external skills and services, learning about new IT possibilities through technologies such as AI or blockchain, or working out a new model for areas of the business.

IT, in its various forms, will be vital to this process of engaging with consumers and delivering solutions, although outsourcing for this was described as a healthy approach by Sutcliff. Companies do not necessarily own all the IT resources they require if it can be rented instead.

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